7 solar features
From sunspots to solar fares, here’s our pick of the Sun sights to look for
Visible on the solar limb, prominences are dense eruptions of plasma thrown outward from the chromosphere along magnetic field lines.
As the Sun is gaseous, we refer to the photosphere as the Sun’s surface. This is the area where light is released and where sunspots and faculae can be seen.
Seen as dark lines across the solar disk, filaments are the same hydrogen/alpha feature as solar prominences but viewed head on rather than extending sidewise into space.
A thin layer of solar atmosphere exists above the photosphere and below the corona. Hydrogen/alpha filters reveal its prominences, filaments, plage and fares.
Plage is a feature in the chromosphere, often seen in association with sunspot groups. Plage can be an indicator of where a sunspot is about to form.
Sunspots are caused by magnetic fields creating patches of cooler plasma. Sunspots have a dark central area, the umbra, and a lighter outer area, the penumbra.
Magnetic field lines break and re- connect, producing a release of energy. This event can be seen in hydrogen/ alpha as a brightening of the solar chromosphere.